D. E. Shaw Research Reviews

Updated Mar 8, 2021

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3.9
73%
Recommend to a Friend
83%
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D. E. Shaw Research Chief Scientist David E. Shaw
David E. Shaw
7 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Strong benefits and culture

    Dec 24, 2019 - Research Engineer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Health insurance - Vacation/time off - Collaboration - Opportunities to attend conferences

    Cons

    - Competitive within team - Sharp divide between management and other staff

    1 person found this review helpful
  2. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Overall Good

    Mar 8, 2021 - Associate Scientist in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of smart and kind people

    Cons

    There are a few people who are jerks

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  3. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Brilliant people, demotivating environment

    Mar 2, 2021 - Generalist in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Kind, intelligent, well-rounded individuals working in every group at the firm. Work/life balance is exceptional.

    Cons

    Apathetic atmosphere, lack of clear goals, leadership is not invested in supporting the professional development needs of their staff, no opportunity to work remotely

    1 person found this review helpful
  4. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Great company

    Jul 2, 2019 - Scientific Associate in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Strong leadership from your mentors

    Cons

    Not able to contribute personal thoughts much

    1 person found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Living the dream

    Jan 7, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    +Meaningful, impressive company mission. People in different areas of the group are all excited to work toward a common goal. You feel like you're doing something worthwhile with your life by working here. +Brilliant co-workers with diverse backgrounds. People here could certainly have healthy egos, but instead they are, for the most part, quite humble. +Opportunities to learn are endless. Even casual hallway conversations are super interesting to listen in on. +Fascinating talks given regularly by employees and outside speakers. +Your ideas are listened to and valued, even if the company decides to go in a different direction. +Management seems thoughtful, and actually cares about the well-being and happiness of employees. +Great culture and very reasonable work/life balance. +Awesome perks and benefits, new surprises all the time! +Pay is really high; of course Manhattan and surrounding areas are very expensive, but the high pay here makes it a non-issue.

    Cons

    I don't have a lot of complaints personally. Some people might not like the lack of hand-holding that comes along with having a group of such driven, accomplished, capable people working at the company. Don't work here if you want to be micro-managed or blindly follow orders without question.

    9 people found this review helpful
  6. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Great place to do science so long as you don't believe in the mission

    Mar 18, 2018 - Scientific Associate in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    In the time I spent at DESRES, I had a chance to work with a truly brilliant set of scientists. Regardless of your background, you will learn a lot if you work here. I completely agree with another reviewer about the fascinating talks and opportunities to learn.

    Cons

    The managers are as stubborn as (some of the) scientists are brilliant. The merit of an idea is worth nothing compared to the standing of the person saying it, so the managers fail to take criticisms of some of the company's main research efforts seriously. This leads DESRES to waste resources on projects that seem unlikely to lead anywhere. It is hard to believe that such a risk-averse strategy will accomplish its goal of revolutionizing drug discovery. Granted, the scientific output is impressive and important, but as the company pivots its focus toward drug discovery and away from basic science, its relevance dwindles. Overall, I recommend working here as long as one is willing to work on a dead-end project in exchange for a large salary and a chance to learn some science on the side. Many would see this as a very fair trade-off, but I decided to take my chances elsewhere.

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    14 people found this review helpful
  7. 2.0
    Former Employee

    On Balance, an Unpleasant Experience (Your Mileage May Vary)

    Dec 29, 2013 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    A chance to work on a potentially world-changing scientific project. Well-funded by David Shaw's fortune. Reasonable work hours. Almost all of the non-management employees are bright and a pleasure to work with. Attractive private or semi-private offices. Compensation is good by NYC standards. David Shaw himself is a brilliant, sincere, and inspiring leader. If you land in the right niche, this might be a great job.

    Cons

    There appears to be no functioning mechanism to remove toxic managers, and they are poisoning the organization. Turnover is high--do your homework. Because funding is essentially infinite, there is no real existential drive to avoid mistakes. There is a culture of backbiting. Almost every day you will hear someone trash another's work, sometimes with glee. Though some of the technology is cutting edge, other parts of it are maddeningly archaic. Advice: As a candidate, you should talk to former employees and have a Plan B. If DESRES doesn't work out, ensure you know what you will do, from a career and financial perspective.

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    14 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Really inspiring team working on important problems

    Nov 2, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Even at a major university you won't find the level of intelligence and talent you'll find here, and certainly not at your average company. (Google, maybe.) Everyone's just really, really smart, you'll find experts in a wide range of fields (engineering, scientific and otherwise), and pretty much everyone I've met is helpful and willing to talk to you. No, there isn't much structure, but isn't that a good thing? You just have to take initiative to figure out what's needed and how you can contribute. I've seen people given pretty big new responsibilities just because they showed an interest and that they could handle it. Not saying it always works out, but how many places is something like that even a possibility? Plus, the project's an important one: designing new drugs and improving how drugs are designed. And they pay very well. I really don't get what other reviewers are grousing about. How many jobs give you great pay, super-smart co-workers, a good mission, and minimal Dilbert-like corporate BS to ruin your day?

    Cons

    No job is perfect, and if you want something to be unhappy about, you'll find something. Yes, some of the managers are probably better engineers or chemists than they are managers, so the management part of their job can get neglected. But I'd rather pay that price than work under a bunch of people who are professional middle-managers but lousy engineers or mediocre scientists or just not very intelligent.

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    17 people found this review helpful
  9. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 8 years

    Intellectually rewarding experience

    Jun 9, 2013 - Research Scientist in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work with the brightest minds in the world on a fascinating computational biochemistry project. Small team so each person has a lot of responsibility. Very generous with compensation. The people are very generous in sharing their knowledge with you.

    Cons

    These are long projects compared to the rest of the industry. You must remain committed for many years to get through one.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  10. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Good mission, clueless management saved by good engineers

    Mar 20, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The mission is excellent. Advance the state of the art in molecular dynamics to shorten the path to drug discovery.

    Cons

    Many good engineers work here. Management is very poor, but their lack of competence is hidden by the productivity and self-organizing abilities of their engineers. David Shaw gets his results, but it's not through the capabilities of the management.

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    9 people found this review helpful
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